By Laini Abraham
I had heard of these gardens. Over the last three years, thanks in part to a grant to do Urban Ecology, about thirteen gardens have been planted in Easton’s West Ward. Overseen by the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership, these gardens are now thriving.
As I walk through the West Ward more and more, I continue to discover new ones. Yesterday, as I walked up South 10th St., an area known more perhaps for crime than vegetables and flowers, I looked across an empty lot and saw three people surrounded by green. That was all the invitation I needed to go find out more. There I found the 10th & Pine Street Community Garden. It’s comprised of twelve 8 x 4-foot raised beds which are planted communally. I met the two women and a young girl, the granddaughter of one of the women. Here they were, on a hot muggy day, tending to this garden with love and pride. They told me about Sophia Feller, the woman who is the main organizer of the gardens through the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership. And they showed me their compost and explained how it’s divided into three parts. The young girl and I talked for a while. She said she really likes picking the food when it’s ready. The strawberries were her favorite so far this year. Of course, she and Boomer bonded, too.
In my opinion, and actually in many others, these gardens are part of the future of living in urban areas. As the true state of our food supply becomes known, people are looking to provide healthier food for themselves and their families. And as the economy and gas prices continue to be challenging, the realization that we can help eat more affordably by growing our own food is also discovered. And something funny happens — something that once may have been unthinkable to many of us — growing our own food — now not only becomes something we try, and learn to do, but something we grow to love. It may take a little longer, and be more work. But it is worth all of it.
For more information about Easton’s Community Gardens, check out Rosa’s Blog.